Latin culture has many amazing aspects, but as musicians, we naturally ignore every single one of those aspects and focus right on the music. Exotic, full of flavor and unique styling, Latin drumming is unlike many other forms of drumming.
In fact, if you are a rock drummer, or a jazz drummer, you may have some trouble learning Latin drumming. This is due solely to the fact that the instrumentation is completely different than that of rock and jazz.
Before you even sit at your drum kit, I suggest you go and listen to some Latin drumming examples on the internet. You need to full understand the grooves and rhythms used in this unique style of drumming.
Once you have analyzed some Latin drummers, you will quickly come to notice that a lot of Latin drumming patterns are identical. What makes each song unique is the diverse implementation of fills and voices.
As I stated earlier, Latin drumming has quite different instrumentation than rock or jazz. This is because Latin drumming employs rimshots, bell striking, and strikes to the bodies of the drums.
Latin drumming rimshots are far different from marching band rimshots, as they are struck near the edge of the head. This makes for a unique sound which is a trademark to the Latin style of drumming.
This style also makes use of the hi-hat, which is primarily driven by the foot. If you have trouble with your off limb, I suggest you practice until you are able to control the hi-hat before you attempt Latin drumming.
Another tip is to practice. A lot. Latin drumming is a difficult style to learn if you are new to it, and it will take many hours to grasp even the basics. Spend at least ninety minutes a day practicing your rimshots and power. Latin drumming is not a style of drumming based on hard hits, so learn to control the power with which you stroke.
As a drummer in Latin music, you will not be the primary instrument. This sounds basic, as many drummers don’t believe they are the prominent voice in their rock band, but Latin drumming is a complete different world.
As a Latin drummer, you will be but one voice among many other percussive instruments. This is important to understand, as it means that as the beat, you will have other responsibilities as well, most of which involve catering your playing to highlight other instruments.
Not being the primary percussive voice can take some getting used to; drummers like to improvise, add impressive fills, and be heard above all else. In Latin drumming, the fills are merely background to the other instrumentation taking place.
The last, most important tip is to keep an open mind. Latin drumming will be difficult and depending on your primary style, frustrating as well. Don’t become discouraged; Latin drumming can be an invaluable tool in helping you learn power control, grooving skills, and above all else, it will open your minds to further possibilities within the world of music.
#1 – 3 Tips to Getting The Strokes Correct For Great Sounding Rhythms
In latin styled drumming, there are a set of basic skillsets that you will need to work on; bass drum, hi hat and the snare. In this lesson, we will look specifically on tips to developing your strokes.
#2 – Introduction to the Bossa Nova Beat
The Bossa Nova rhythm is very closely related to Rumba. Originating from Brazil, this style literally means setting a new trend in dance music and is an evolution of the samba beat.
#3 – Easy ¾ Waltz Drumming Rhythms to Master
By now, I am sure that most of you are very familiar with the common 4/4 time signature. Today’s lesson will be an introduction to the ¾ time signature. While it isn’t that tough to get used to, drummers who often play rock music might find the switch to learning a ¾ beat a little challenging.
#4 – Rumba Clave 101 – Learn to Play Cuban Styled Music
Let’s learn the rumba. If you have some experience in jazz drumming, you might probably had come across the rumba clave. If you haven’t, I guarantee that you will have fun with this tutorial.
#5 – Songo Inspired Tutorial – A Mixture of Rumba And Jazz
The songo beat is a form of Cuban drumming that draws its influence from rumba, jazz and funk. Time keeping skills are crucial in order to sound tight and capture the essence of the style. Do note that this particular style does require solid foundation skills and is not meant for beginners.
#6 – 5 Tips to Getting a Better Understanding of Latin Music
I will be honest here… Most people don’t start off the drums learning Latin based songs or music. The rationale behind this is that latin music incorporates an intermediate level of musical understanding and coordination. Here are 5 tips to help you progress at a faster pace.
#7 – Tips to Playing Advanced Swing Fills
To really succeed in swing styles, a drummer has to have timing, control and rhythm. It’s no coincidence that some of the best drummers in the world actually originate from the swing and jazz genres. This is an advanced masterclass to build up some swing fill concepts.
#8 – How to Execute Rim Shots Correctly
There are more areas on the drumset that can be use for percussive sounds than you think there is. Making use of the rims can create contrast and dynamical sounds when appropriate. We leave you a simple pattern so that you can practice your newly acquired skill.
#9 – 3/4 Variations of Samba Beats
If you had been following the lessons on this page consistently, you should have built up several beats and grooves under your belt. In this lesson, we are going to expand your knowledge to include other variations of the samba beat in ¾ timings.